NEW DELHI: The NDA government has revised its communication strategy by effecting a major overhaul in the Press Information Bureau (PIB). The Centre is sending five regional Director Generals (DGs) as its envoys to states, who will advocate the Narendra Modi government’s initiatives and also counter ‘propaganda’ against it by non-BJP-ruled states.
The envoys will be the eyes and ears of the Centre, as the government is gearing up to launch multiple public-oriented schemes targeting state polls and the general elections.
Last week, Information and Broadcasting Minister M Venkaiah Naidu decided to restructure PIB, the government’s machinery responsible for dissemination of information. The I&B ministry is setting up five regional heads—North, West, South, East and Northeast—for effective advocacy of the Centre’s programmes and policies. Every region will be headed by a DG-rank officer from the Indian Information Service.
According to top officials, the PMO is upset with the functioning of the PIB, especially its state units, because many Central schemes and initiatives are not reaching the public in absence of publicity. The state heads of PIB , sources said, hardly make extra efforts to push forward the government’s views.
“The idea is only to have effective advocacy in local media with more and more people on ground. Strengthening of communication strategy in view of forthcoming Assembly elections will play a major role in image projection,” said a top official.
The strengthening process also includes 19 Additional Director Generals, four Regional Directors along with several Deputy Directors and Assistant Director-rank officers in states, who will represent the Central Government.
The restructuring has raised eyebrows in the information service, as the regional heads will directly report to the Secretary, I&B ministry, not the Principal Director General, which has been the practice till now.